Quinoa, Kale, and Corn Mexi Salad

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I ate this salad with 9 amazing women last week. Standing around with paper plates and maybe wiping a few tears from our eyes.

My colleague Janet Ott and I just finished leading a six-month leadership course for executive women, and we had lunch together after our last session. Some things I was reminded of as we learned together:

  • The world will always need good leaders. And specifically, good managers make an incalculable difference in the lives of their employees. 
  • All the little daily things we do or don't do, say or don't say, have an even greater impact when we're in decision-making roles. We can either embrace that influence and be intentional about it or not. 
  • When we're not leading from a deep place of "okayness" with ourselves, we can do damage. We focused together on the spirituality of leadership--leading from love instead of fear, choosing awe and wonder over urgency and people-pleasing. I can't help but smile when I think about these 9 women and how much more effective and aware they've become in our time together. And how that will translate to their relationships with employees.
  • How gifted all of us are and how listening to one another unearths those gifts.

As usual, I happily took on the challenge of bringing something simple, filling, portable, and gluten-free for lunch. And I promised the recipe.

Here's to you, leaders, and all the good you're unleashing in the world.

Quinoa and Corn Mexi Salad
This makes a huge bowl--enough for 10-12 people to have big portions. It will keep all week in the fridge, but you can also halve it. With cold grain salads like this, they are best served room temperature. If you put it in the fridge, you'll probably want to add a little more salt, lime juice, or olive oil when you pull it out as the grain will soak up everything up as it sits. If you want to add cheese to this, feta or queso fresco would be my choice. You could also serve it with diced avocado on top. Yum. You know how I feel about avocados.

For dressing:
Juice of two limes
1/2 c. olive oil
1/4 c. canola oil
1 Tb. ground cumin
lots of salt and pepper
1 small red onion, very thinly sliced

For salad:
8 c. cooked and cooled quinoa (1 lb. uncooked). I cook mine in the rice cooker.
2-3 large bunches black kale, washed and coarsely chopped
2 c. frozen or fresh corn kernels, briefly sauteed in olive oil (I use the frozen roasted corn from Trader Joes)
1 large red bell pepper, diced
1 large yellow bell pepper, diced
1 bunch cilantro, washed and coarsely chopped
Pint of cherry tomatoes, halved
1 poblano pepper, seeded and diced
1/2 c. sunflower seeds
handful of fresh herbs (oregano, mint, basil, or more cilantro)

For dressing, combine everything but onions in a large measuring cup or bowl. Whisk to combine, adding more of anything to taste. Add onions and let marinate while you make the rest of the salad.

With your hands, gently combine all salad ingredients (except for sunflower seeds and herbs) in your biggest bowl. Pour dressing over, reserving a few of the marinated onions for the top. Scatter sunflower seeds and chopped fresh herbs over the top with onions. Taste again for salt.

Quinoa and Walnut Lunch Bowl

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All-Points Bulletin: Do yourself a favor and cook up some whole grains on Sunday! Brown rice, quinoa, barley, or bulgar. Stick them in the fridge and use all week--tossed into salads (my favorite), cooked on the stovetop with coconut milk in the morning and topped with toasted nuts, stirfried with veggies, or added to soups.

When I make "grain" salads these days, I tend to use mostly vegetables with a little bit of whole grains to help the whole thing stick together. In addition to being healthier, they're also more colorful.

My friend Jordan is always begging me to be more explicit about my salads. It drives her crazy that I say, "Oh, a little of this, a little of that." So here's another one for you, Jordan. The only thing better than a working lunch at home would be lunch with you.

P.S. If you're an Instragram user and are either a Seattle resident or have plans to travel there, Jordan has an instragram feed (@local_trove) that's becoming the best guide to sweet Seattle spots that I know of. Restuarants, parks, farmers markets. Beautiful photos, helpful descriptions.

Quinoa and Walnut Lunch Bowl
This serves one, but if you're serving more, just get out a big bowl and fill accordingly! In a bowl, combine a handful of cold grains with lots of chopped kale/greens/herbs. Here, I've used black kale, mint, chives, mustard greens, Italian parlsey, and lovage from my garden. Plain old romaine would work too--you just want something with crunch (versus red or green leaf lettuce). Add a handful of toasted walnuts (or other seeds/nuts, like sunflower seeds, pepitas, or almonds), some salty feta, shaved carrots (here, red carrots shaved with a vegetable peeler) and toss with a big squeze of lemon juice, salt, pepper, and a glug of olive oil. I used juices from my preserved lemon jar, but lemon juice, olive oil, and salt are a fine substitute.

Kale and Pineapple Smoothie

Today's Green Smoothie

Or I could have called this "Today's Green Smoothie" since it wasn't premeditated at all. Whatever is knocking around the freezer and produce drawer. (And mothers, no. My kids won't touch this. They get a fruit smoothie. We're working up to it.)

I'm trying to eat more vegetables earlier in the day. I find it reduces my cravings for crap later on, I have more energy, and my skin is softer, clearer. Could that be the case? It's not researched, just experienced. 

I just started what I know will be a life-changing book. No Ordinary Time by Jan Phillips. Thanks to Janet Ott for sharing so many resources with me, including this one. Jan tells this story:

I was in graduate school...on the verge of quitting, when I called [my good friend] for a consult. I told her how out of place I felt, how I was old enough to be everyone's mother, how the students cared more about spring breaks and Cancun than anything we were there to learn. I felt like an outcast.

She asked me three questions, and those three questions changed the course of my life. "Are you eating and drinking moderately?" No, I confessed, admitting to drinking lots of Chardonnay and having a stash of Almond Joy miniatures in all my pockets.
"What are you doing for your body--are you working out?"
"No, nothing."
"What about a spiritual practice? Do you have a spiritual practice?"
"No."
"Jan, don't make any decisions about quitting school right now. Your life cannot work right if you don't have those three things taken care of. Take two week to get it together, then call me back."

When two weeks was up and I called Paula back, I was like a new person.
"Paula, you're not going to believe it, everyone on campus has changed dramatically!"

And I'd add a fourth question: "How much sleep are you getting?"

I'm better or worse at it depending on the day, but these questions are so important! The trick is to let them guide my life without feeling guilty, and this is where discipline comes in. I'm trying to make morning meditation NON-NEGOTIABLE, but it's amazing how many ridiculous excuses I come up with. 20 minutes isn't a long time. I can easily pass 20 minutes reading stupid tidbits on Facebook that don't do one thing for my soul. When I am cultivating awareness of my body and spirit--eating vegetables, walking, meditating, sleeping instead of screen time--I don't crave the junk as much. I feel settled. I feel me. And I can't do my work in the world--let alone have a prophetic voice!--unless I'm me. This is the only sacred ground I have--the ground of my own being.

Smoothies won't accomplish all this. Ha! I wish. But I find they get me in good groove for the day, and that's pretty darn great.

Kale and Pineapple Smoothie
Into your blender, throw a giant handful of washed kale, some spinach if you have it, a couple stalks of celery with leaves, a big handful of frozen pineapple (or fresh pineapple plus a couple ice cubes), a wedge of lemon with the peel off, a knob of peeled ginger, and however much water you or your blender requires. My Vitamix just needs about 1/2 cup. (I can't resist another chance to mention it. Appliances make me stupidly happy.)

What I Bring to Potlucks

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I feel two ways about potlucks. On one hand, they're the only sensible way for a big group to gather and eat together. In all my magazine-reading (have I mentioned how much I love magazines? The paper kind?), I often come across "Easy Do-Ahead Party Menus!" that look atrocious. More work than I have ever put into having anyone over in my life. Maybe each step is technically easy, but you'd still have to be unemployed (or have a kitchen staff), hyper organized, and LOVE cooking to pull it off. So potlucks solve this problem.

However, *&%$#!. Sometimes too many potlucks stack up in one week, and I find they are just as much work (or more) than what I would have made for my family that night. And I have occasionally cursed potlucks, though please don't tell anyone. Puget Sounders are supposed to love them. Always.

I adore people that bring a hot, main dish to potlucks. People with crockpots (I gave mine away as it was suffering from disuse), people with those handy Rubbermaid sets with thermal jackets. If you're one of those, thank you! Keep doing your thing!

As for me and my house, we will supply the salad. It's usually something like this one--brown rice and kale salad with cranberries and pecans. Here's my reasoning:

  1. It's vegan and gluten free. And I label it as such. 
  2. It's filling. Though I'm not a Main Dish Super Hero (God bless you!), it's conceivable that someone could eat a **#load of this and feel fairly satisfied.
  3. It's delicious. Have I ever let you down? (Don't chime in if I have. I know readers have slaved over some recipes and been ruinously disappointed. I'm sorry!)
  4. It is best served room temperature (Potluck Royalty!).
  5. It can sit in its vinaigrette forever and just get better. You don't have to worry about it getting soggy.
  6. Crazily, I usually have everything I need for a version of this salad--grains, greens, homemade vinagrette. If you wash and dry kale and put it in a ziploc bag in the fridge, it lasts a really long time. (Though it gets gobbled up around here. Along with a latte and Triscuits, it's the food I eat almost every day.)
  7. It looks bright and beautiful with the macerated cranberries and the green kale. There's never any left.

And for those of you that have been following this blog since its inception almost 4 years ago, you might remember the very first recipe I posted was something similar--Barley and kale salad with dried cherries and blue cheese. I had taken it to my Mom's birthday party and been accosted with requests for the recipe. I prided myself on always delivering recipes (handwritten and cobbled together from memory) to people who asked for them, but had the idea of putting it online to save my fingers from so much work. I made up the name on-the-spot, and I've always been glad I didn't think it about it much. Otherwise it wouldn't have happened. (I have a couple dear friends who are contemplating--and contemplating some more!--the idea starting a blog. Just get out there. We'll all be better for it.)

Happy Week of Giving Thanks. As always, I'm thankful for you.

Kale and Brown Rice Salad with Cranberries and Pecans
You could use white rice, barley, quinoa...so many other grains here. The important thing is that it's had a chance to cool down a little bit so the grains can separate. If you can't cook it ahead of time and chill it, just spread it out in a very shallow layer, drizzle a little bit of olive oil over it, and stir it occasionally to release the steam.

4 cups cooked grain (I made brown rice in my rice cooker the day before)
1 large bunch curly green kale, de-stemmed, washed, dried, and coarsely chopped
1/2 c. toasted pecans, coarsely chopped
2 Tb. honey
salt and pepper
2 garlic gloves
4 Tb. apple cider vinegar
1/4 c. olive oil 
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced 
1/2 c. dried cranberries

For dressing:
Combine honey, salt and pepper, garlic, vinegar, and olive oil with an immersion blender. (Or with a whisk if you use a garlic press.) Add more of anything to taste. Drop the sliced onions and dried cranberries into the dressing to marinate.

To assemble salad:
In a large bowl, combine rice, kale, and dressing. I use my hands. Make sure everything is covered with the vinaigrette. That's what makes this salad. Scatter the toasted pecans over the top and maybe a little more coarse salt and pepper. 

Broiled Eggs with Kale and Roasted Kabocha

kabocha and eggs

The Pacific Northwest just finished up over 80 days without rain. Until last week, people were sitting on their decks with cocktails. At Wyatt's soccer game 2 Saturdays ago, I took my shoes and socks off and pretended I was on the beach. 

Now, rivers of rain out my window, there's no mistaking the arrival of Fall. I think Puget Sounders are a little relieved. So much sun was too good to be true. Now we can go back to taking our Vitamin D, feeling sorry for ourselves, and coming up with every conceivable use for pumpkins.

I got the most beautiful Kabocha (or Japanese Pumpkin)  squash at Joe's Garden before it closed for the season. I peeled and thinly sliced it, drizzled it with olive oil and salt, and roasted the slices at 425 until they were tender, about 12 minutes. I then used it for a million things, including a galette and these eggs. 

And that's what I recommend for those inhospitable squash, sitting in your pantry or on your porch and staring you down. If you roast it up (there's a good method here) and put it in the fridge, all of the sudden it will be in your eggs, squished between bread with cheese and grilled, or tossed into pasta. 

Broiled Eggs with Kale and Roasted Kabocha
Serves 2. Turn broiler on. Saute several handfuls of washed and chopped kale in an ovenproof skillet with olive oil and a little garlic and salt. Cook until halfway wilted. Add a handful of your roasted squash and a squeeze of lemon juice and a bit of grated lemon zest. Stir. Crack 4 eggs over the top of the kale and squash mixture, and top with feta, sharp cheddar, or other cheese. Add some chopped fresh herbs if you want (parlsey, rosemary, thyme, cilantro.) Cook until eggs are set a bit, then transfer to to the broiler. Broil until everything is bubbling and eggs are cooked to your liking.  Cut around eggs with a small spatula and serve, or just eat right out of the pan by yourself or with your friend or sweetie.  

Kale Caesar with Rye Croutons

Kale Caesar

This one is for Emily. Apparently it's possible for someone to love kale more than I do.

We met her for lunch yesterday at Skillet Diner. We split lunch, and she wisely chose the Kale Caesar instead of fries as our side. I was a little wistful--I've said no to fries maybe one other time in my life. But love demands sacrfice, so I went along.

Of course, it was no sacrifice. Curly, bright green kale with garlicky caesar clinging to the ridges, every forkful a hit of winter vitamins. I made the kids a giant vat of white rice for lunch today and got busy making this for myself. (White rice is like crack to them. If they have enough of it, I could probably sneak out of the house, go for a sauna at the Y, and come home before they'd notice.)

I'm tracking my calories lately, and apparently a plateful of this salad will deliver over 800% of your daily vitamin A. I know you don't need that fact to entice you, though.

P.S. I want this t-shirt. Kind of a friendly way to get up on one of my soapboxes?

 Kale Caesar with Rye Croutons
Serves 4. These days, I often have a bag of Trader Joe's washed kale around. When the farmers markets open, I'll commence with washing it again. If you have dino (aka lacinato) kale around, that's even more delicious here, but more expensive and a little harder to find. (Have I mentioned that our house in Bellingham is 5 minutes from Trader Joe's? It's rough.)

For salad
1 large head kale, washed, spun dry, and chopped
4 slices dense rye bread
olive oil
Parmesan or manchego cheese, shaved off with a vegetable peeler

For dressing:
1 large clove garlic
2 anchovies
1 Tb. dijon
1 Tb. worchestershire
1 Tb. mayonnaise
juice of 1/2 lemon
1/4 c. olive oil 
freshly ground pepper
pinch of kosher salt 

To make dressing, put all ingredients into a beaker and stick your immersion blender in there. (Or use a food processor.) Add more of anything to taste or thin with a little water if it's too thick.

To make croutons, heat a castiron griddle or pan over medium-high heat. Brush bread with olive oil and fry until golden brown on both sides. Cut into cubes.

Toss kale with croutons, cheese and dressing (maybe not all of it), saving a bit of everything for the top.

Cumin Fried Rice with Chorizo and Kale

 

cumin fried rice

Remember when I went on and on about my wok? With romantic metaphors, even? I suppose we are past infatuation and into the settled domestic partners stage. The patina is developing as planned, and I can now fry rice, noodles, or meat without any fear of sticking. I've often thought what a wonderful gift it would be to season a wok for someone else. But I don't want to give up cooking with mine.

I haven't posted a ton of wok recipes because most the things I make in it are so completely and utterly everyday. I'm not sure there's a lot of interest in a fried-rice-a-day calendar. I've sizzled a few delicious numbers, but it's too damn dark at night for decent photos. So you'll have to trust me on this wok thing.

Except for today's version of fried rice, which is a typical example of what I've been up to. This weekday lunch was made possible by:


  1. The fact that I am self-employed.
  2. My addiction to cleaning out the fridge.
  3. The hard work I put into cleaning and prepping vegetables (a ritual part of every weekend around here).
  4. My habit of cooking up some kind of whole grain (brown rice, in this case) and having it in the fridge all week.
  5. PCC's stocking of chorizo in the deli. Real stuff. I couldn't get it in my neighborhood before. Dangerous.
  6. My ongoing commitment to use my wok almost daily. This is a very serious relationship.

Have I mentioned I'm on another health kick? Choosing whole grains over stripped ones, working to get all my servings of fruits and vegetables in, watching my portion sizes, cutting down on sugar and fats. I'm thankful for this body that has such grace for me and responds so energetically when I take care of it. In this season of overeating and constant indulgence, this is my little rebellion.

Cumin Fried Rice with Chorizo and Kale
Serves as a light lunch for two. The important thing with fried rice is that your rice is cold--it's been in the fridge for at least a few hours. For this reason, I always make more than I need and refrigerate the rest. And using brown rice here is no sacrifice--I think it makes a much more delicious version. If you don't have a well-seasoned wok, a large nonstick skillet will work. And you can certainly use other veggies here--peppers, green onions, carrots. The important thing is that they are cut to uniform size.


1 Tb. olive oil
1 Tb. cumin seeds
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 large clove garlic, minced
2" length of cured chorizo, finely diced
1 small zucchini or 1/2 medium zucchini, finely diced
2 c. shredded green cabbage
2 . chopped kale
kosher salt
1 1/2 c. cold brown basmati rice
squeeze of lemon
handful of crumbled feta

Heat your wok on high until a drop of water flicked into it disappears instantly. Add oil, swirl to coat, and add cumin seeds, red pepper flakes, and garlic. Stirfry with a metal spatula for 10 seconds, stirring constantly.

Add chorizo, zucchini, cabbage, and kale, and stirfry to 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add salt and rice and cook for 2-3 more minutes until rice is warmed through and vegetables are getting crispy in places. Dump into two bowls, squeeze some lemon over, and top with a bit of crumbled feta.

Farfalle with Kale, Bacon, and Mint

farfalle with kale
Yesterday, home alone for lunch, a few quiet minutes between meetings. How I love weekday lunches at home. Luxury. Especially when wilted kale, salty bacon, and mint are involved. And especially when the work of making it came the night before. One of my absolute favorite things is refried pasta. Have you ever noticed that microwaved leftover pasta is rather unsatisfying? If there's any cream or cheese, it turns to oil. If anything was once crispy, it becomes soggy. So I prefer to heat up the wok or nonstick skillet (pasta will stick to anything else), pour in a bit of olive oil, and crisp everything up.

Then Yancey came home, Loretta in tow, lots of chatter about painting in preschool and who cried for their mom. Yancey heated up the wok again, sat down across from me, and our kitchen saw another day in its life of home office, bistro, and incident command center.

P.S. I have a secret. In the last month, we have been eating mostly rice and beans. When I sit down to menu-plan on Sundays, absolutely nothing comes to mind. I can't seem to remember one single thing I've ever cooked. I have no creativity and scant motivation, so I fill up a bowl and soak more beans. My friend Aimee, whose family came over for Night # 4 of tostadas, said, "Why don't you write about this on your blog?" So I am. You are not alone.

Farfalle with Kale, Bacon, and Mint
I've got kale coming out my ears in my garden. Everything else is rotting, but that little row of kale could feed an army. And I've got tons of herbs still, which is where the mint came from. You can, of course, leave the mint out, sub spinach or chard for the kale, use another kind of pasta, leave the meat out or sub chorizo or other sausage. As always, this is more a record of what I did than a prescription for what you should do. This will serve four hungry adults.


1 lb. farfalle or other pasta
2 bunches kale, washed, ribbed, and coarsely chopped
couple big glugs of olive oil
1 bunch broccolini, stems halved lengthwise and cut into 1" lengths and florets broken up
3 garlic cloves, minced
8 oz. (or more!) thick-sliced bacon, coarsely chopped
1/4 c. good quality sundried tomatoes, julienned
1 c. finely shredded parmesan
finely grated zest and juice of one small lemon
2 red Thai chiles, seeded and finely chopped
handful chopped fresh mint
handful chopped fresh oregano

Set a big pot of salted water on to boil.

In a small bowl, mix 1/4 c. of the parmesan, lemon zest, chopped chiles, and chopped herbs. Set aside.

In a large skillet, crisp up bacon. Remove bacon from pan, reserving most of the bacon fat, and turn down to low.  Add broccolini stems and cook for 5 minutes. Add florets,garlic, salt, and pepper, stirring often, and saute until broccolini is tender, not mushy. Add sundried tomatoes.

Pour pasta into boiling water and cook until tender. At the last minute, throw kale in there, using a spoon to submerge it in the boiling water. Drain pasta and kale, reserving 1/2 c. of cooking water.

To the pasta and kale, add bacon, broccoli mixture, cooking water, parmesan and olive oil.  Stir and divide among pasta bowls, topping each with the herb mixture.


Analog Sundays

Pantry Minnestrone

So far, so good. A few weeks ago, I resolved to not open the computer on Sundays. It's amazing to wake up in the morning knowing I won't be beholden to anyone's urgent email or sucked into reading Facebook updates. Emily has been talking a lot about Sabbath lately, so I suppose it's rubbing off. One of her current favorite quotes from Sabbath by Wayne Muller:

"I have sat on dozens of boards and commissions with many fine, compassionate, and generous people who are so tired, overwhelmed, and overworked that they have neither the time nor the capacity to listen to the deeper voices that speak to the essence of the problems before them.  Presented with the intricate and delicate issues of poverty, public health, community well-being, and crime, our impulse, born of weariness, is to rush headlong toward doing anything that will make the problem go away.  Maybe then we can finally go home and get some rest.  But without the essential nutrients of rest, wisdom, and delight embedded in the problem-solving process itself, the solution we patch together is likely to be an obstacle to genuine relief.  Born of desperation, it often contains enough fundamental inaccuracy to guarantee an equally perplexing problem will emerge as soon as it is put into place.  In the soil of the quick fix is the seed of a new problem, because our quiet wisdom is unavailable."

I love how he contrasts our default problem-solving methods with "quiet wisdom." I haven't been trying to solve world poverty on Sundays, but I sure have felt some of that quiet strength.

Space Needle

And I've been making soup. A quick fridge-cleaning produces a pot to share at church, and the kitchen volunteers are always happy to receive it. Last week, I used leftover chickpea curry. I dumped it in a pot with leftover rice, added water, another can of tomatoes, and fresh spinach. The only problem, of course, is being asked for the recipe--"Make too much chickpea curry, and leave it forgotten in the fridge for a few days. Pull it out, find some cooked rice in the back, and see what you can do it with it."

This week, the bits in the pantry and produce drawer were much more accommodating if, for instance, the cook were a food blogger and wanted to scrounge up something to keep her faithful readers on the line.

P.S. Seattle friends, when was the last time you were at Volunteer Park? The leaves are turning, all the lovers and families were out yesterday afternoon, and I even got Yancey to take a picture of ME, for once. Oh--and those rascally children of mine.
Volunteer Park

Pantry Minestrone
These were the things I happened to have around, but you could certainly use lots of other things--white beans instead of kidney and garbanzo, shredded cabbage or spinach instead of kale, carrots and celery.

Couple big glugs of olive oil
1 small red or yellow onion, finely diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 yellow or red pepper, diced
2 small zucchini, finely chopped
coarse salt
freshly ground pepper
couple handfuls chopped fresh herbs (I used parsley and lemon thyme)
1 bay leaf
pinch red pepper flakes
1 or 2 parmesan rinds
1 14-oz. can diced tomatoes
1 14-oz. can chickpeas, drained
1 14-oz. can kidney beans, drained
3/4 c. small elbow macaroni
1/4 c. fine bulgar
1 bunch fresh kale, stemmed and coarsely chopped
water
juice of one small lemon

Saute olive oil in a big stockpot. Add onion, garlic, diced pepper, and zucchini. Saute for five minutes, then add salt, pepper fresh herbs, bay leaf, and red pepper flakes. Saute for a couple minutes, then add parmesan rind, tomatoes, chickpeas, kidney beans, and enough water to cover by a couple inches. Bring to a simmer, then add macaroni and bulgar. Simmer for about 20 minutes, until pasta is tender. Take out a couple cupfuls (or stick an immersion blender in there) and puree. Add puree back to soup, add chopped kale and lemon juice, and stir. Add more water along the way at any point, and taste at the end, adding more salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, fresh herbs, or lemon juice to taste. Serve with chopped parsley and a drizzle of olive oil on top.

 

Galette with Roasted Squash, Kale, and Ricotta

squash-galette

How's that for a mouthful?

Here's the story: I had a tub of whole milk ricotta in the fridge that was about to expire. I bought some beautiful little zucchinis at the farmer's market last week with no purpose in mind. And here's the real story--we are SWIMMING in kale around here, and I can't use it up fast enough. I send Wyatt out to the garden to cut it, he comes in with big armloads, and I have to figure out what to do with it. I wish I knew someone I could call for ideas. Maybe someone who constantly thought about food.

kale

roasting squash

And I have a friend whose son was just in the hospital and wanted to drop by some food. I often bring a galette in such situations for these reasons:


  1. It will keep beautifully sitting on the counter for a couple days.
  2. I have a stack of flat pizza boxes in my basement just for this purpose. Slip the galette in there on a piece of parchment paper, fold the box up around it, and it's as indestructible as portable food gets.
  3. There probably won't be 10 other galette deliveries to the recovering household (though there is nothing wrong with eating spaghetti all week).
  4. Savory ones are good at any meal. Fruit galettes are great for breakfast or dessert.
  5. They make me look like a better cook than I really am.
  6. It's just as easy to make two. If I'm trying to gain entrance to heaven, I give them both away . If I'm more sane, I keep one for us.

Wyatt has been such a great helper and companion lately--cutting kale, watering the garden, getting snacks for Loretta, making up games for her while I clean the kitchen. During Loretta's nap the other day, Wyatt and I lounged around on my bed, talking. It was one of those moments when I didn't want to budge. He was letting me play with his hair and rub his back, and we were talking about the fish he planned on catching at Ross Lake. Somehow, I would up asking him if there was anything he was worried about. He put a pillow over his face, growled, and said, "Mom! Can we puh-lease not have this conversation?" End of Precious Moment. I went too far. Someday, he'll be in therapy, saying, "My Mom. Wow. Where do I start? She always wanted to talk about everything. And what I remember most about my childhood is grocery shopping. Always the grocery shopping."

my boy

Galette with Roasted Squash, Kale, and Ricotta
This makes two crusts and two fillings. You can, of course, halve it. You could also leave the kale out of the ricotta filling, sub sauteed spinach or chard for the kale, and use other roasted veggies on top--roasted tomatoes (YUM!) or garlic, roasted peppers. Just stay away from dumping a bunch of raw veggies on top, which make the situation very watery.

For dough:
2 c. flour
pinch salt
1/2 c. cornmeal
14 Tb. cold unsalted butter
2/3 c. ice water
6 Tb. sour cream


Pulse  flour and cornmeal together in the bowl of a food processor.  Drop butter in and pulse until butter is in pea-sized lumps. Stir ice water and sour cream together in a small bowl, then drizzle over flour mixture.  Pulse again about 8 times just until mixture holds together–you don’t want to pulse it so much that it forms itself into a ball.

Gather dough together and form into a ball.  Put ball on a piece of plastic wrap, loosely gather plastic wrap around it and twist, then press dough into a disc. Repeat with second half of dough. Refrigerate for one hour before rolling out.  Roll out on a floured surface till dough is about 1/8″ thick.  Fold into quarters and transfer to baking sheet.  Unfold and fill.

For roasted veggies:
Heat oven to 425.Take three or four small zucchini or summer squash and slice them into 1/2" thick rounds. Cut a medium yellow or red onion into coarse chunks, and toss the squash and onions with a big glug of olive oil, salt, and pepper. Spread mixture out on a cookie sheet lined with parchment, and roast for 25-30 minutes, until veggies are soft and getting charred in places. Stir once or twice. Remove from oven and cool.


For ricotta mixture:
Saute down a BUNCH of chopped kale with olive oil and salt. At least two bunches if you've bought it at the store, and as much as your pan will hold if you're picking it. I start with a big ol' wok-full, then fill it up again when the first addition shrinks. Cook for about 10 minutes. Let it sit for a bit, and the water will pool up underneath it. Leave the water in the pan, and put the cooked kale in a medium bowl. Add one 15 oz. tub of whole milk ricotta, 1 egg, grated zest from one lemon, salt, and pepper. Mix thoroughly.


To assemble:
Get your crust onto the pan you'll be baking it on. Spread half ricotta mixture on crust, leaving about a 1" border. Scatter half of roasted veggie mixture over ricotta, then finely grate a bit of parmesan over the top. Fold crust in, pleating as you go. This is where "rustic" really comes in. It will look beautiful no matter what. Brush the crush with an egg wash--one egg, lightly beaten with a tsp. of water. Dip a pastry brush in, and lightly brush the crust.


Bake at 375 for 25-35 minutes, until crust is golden and filling is bubbling a bit. Let cool for several minutes before slicing. Is great at room temp the next day, too. I never refrigerate them.